London: Scientists have reported a major achievement in the field of quantum computers – they have succeeded in controlling the building blocks of a future super-fast quantum computer.
Scientists from the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience at Delft University of Technology and Eindhoven University of Technology are now able to manipulate these building blocks (qubits) with electrical rather than magnetic fields.
A qubit is the building block of a possible, future quantum computer, which would far outstrip current computers in terms of speed. It can adopt the states ``0`` and ``1`` by using the spin of an electron, which is generated by spinning the electron on its axis.
Until now, the spin of an electron has been controlled by magnetic fields but can now be controlled by a charge or an electric field.
"These spin-orbit qubits combine the best of both worlds. They employ the advantages of both electronic control and information storage in the electron spin,” said Leo Kouwenhoven at the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience at TU Delft.
First Published: Friday, December 24, 2010, 14:02